He had a distinguished career in the military. He
left a position as a accountant for the Maine Central
Railroad to join the U.S. Army Air Corps on 13 August
1942 entering from Portland, ME. He served as Airplane
Commander of Replacement Crew 11 flying 28 combat
missions and logging 439 combat flying hours. Later
he was recalled for the Korean Conflict again as a
B-29 bomber pilot, logging 324 combat flying hours
in 35 combat missions. He remained in the USAF to
complete a 30-year service. During this time he flew
an assortment of other aircraft in later decades including
He received numerous decorations and service awards
including the Legion of Merit, The Distinguished Flying
Cross and the Air Medal with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
(which is equivalent to five Air Medals).
He retired at the rank of Colonel in 1973 as Director
of Logistics for the 42nd Air Division at McCoy AFB,
William Brooks and Barbara Welles Turner were married
in 1949. They have one son, William, Jr. and 2 grandsons.
Bill and Barbara were married for 52 yrs until her
death on 13 April 2001.
With nearly 32 years of retirement, Bill Brooks was
a gregarious man who enjoyed sharing his views and
insights in animated conversation with friends. He
also enjoyed studying animal behavior and kept a wide
variety of pets over the years. He was enthusiastic
about horticulture and cultivated many species of
tropical flowering plants, other exotic plants, and
fruit-bearing trees. He was also an outspoken champion
of individual liberty and personal privacy. Bill had
a long-term love for the area where he grew up near
Portland, ME., and vacationed there annually for decades.
He resided Indialantic, FL from 1973 until his death
on 10 February 2005, at the age of 86 years old.